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Former State Senator Marzilli Gets 3 Months In Jail For Sex Harassment

LOWELL (CBS/AP) - A former Massachusetts state senator charged with sexually harassing four women has been sentenced to three months in jail and five years of probation.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports


James Marzilli was sentenced Tuesday in Lowell Superior Court after pleading to sufficient facts to the most serious charge against him, intent to commit indecent assault and battery, acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.

In front of Superior Court Judge Paul Chernoff, Marzilli pleaded guilty to six lesser charges.

On the most serious charge, the judge agreed with the defense and continued the case without a finding for three years, meaning the charge could eventually be dismissed.

WBZ-TV's Peg Rusconi reports.

Marzilli, an Arlington Democrat, was charged in 2008 with making sexually explicit remarks to four women in Lowell and attempting to sexually touch one of them.

Friend and fellow former legislator George Bachrach said Marzilli came unglued. "How else would you explain someone running around downtown Lowell accosting women?"

After his arrest, Marzilli was treated at a psychiatric hospital for bi-polar disorder, a condition for which his treatment is ongoing.

In court, one of Marzilli's victims recalled her reaction after Marzilli made inappropriate comments to her at a bus stop. "I was nervous, I was shaking all over. I have anxiety," she said. She said she hoped Marzilli would receive jail time.

In written impact statements, two other victims say their encounters with Marzilli made them afraid to walk alone.

"You can't put a price on fear," said prosecutor Elizaeth Dunigan.

While the defense asked that Marzilli be judged not on one day but on a lifetime of service to his community, the former legislator left the courtroom in cuffs.

His attorney, Terrence Kennedy, said, "It's a sad day for him, for his family for the four women that this happened to and, on his behalf I certainly apologize to them. Everyone starts to move forward today."

WBZ-TV's Peg Rusconi contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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